Publication - Transparency data

NHS Scotland performance against LDP standards

Published: 18 Dec 2019

Performance data on the current Local Delivery Plan (LDP) Standards - priorities set and agreed between the Scottish Government and NHS Boards to provide assurance on NHS Scotland performance. 

Contents
NHS Scotland performance against LDP standards
18 weeks referral to treatment

LDP Standard

90% of planned / elective patients to commence treatment within 18 weeks of referral.

Current national performance

In March 2021, 74.9% of patients were reported as commencing treatment within 18 weeks.

About this LDP standard

Shorter waits can lead to earlier diagnosis and better outcomes for many patients as well as reducing unnecessary worry and uncertainty for patients and their relatives. It also reduces inequalities by addressing variations in waiting times between NHS Boards or individual hospitals. Shorter waiting times will have a positive impact on the health of the patient, but in the long-term may result in some positive impact on all businesses, as key workers who are absent from the work due to illness may be treated earlier and will therefore be able to return to the workplace earlier.

Performance against this standard

The standard for delivery is for 90% of patients to wait no longer than 18 weeks from referral to treatment.

The data published on 25 May 2021 covers performance against the waiting time standards for the overarching Referral to Treatment (RTT) and eight key diagnostic tests for the quarter ending 31 March 2021.  The Stage of Treatment data (which covers first Outpatient appointments and Treatment Time Guarantee (TTG) for the same quarter) was also published on 25 May 2021. 

 

At the outset of the current COVID-19 pandemic NHS Board were asked to scale down all non-urgent elective treatment while maintaining a full cancer and urgent care service.  In these circumstances all non-urgent outpatient and inpatient/day case activity was paused for the initial period of the pandemic.  While many services are now starting to be gradually restarted the continued recording of data against these targets and standards is still impacted by this situation. 

In March 2021, 74.9% of patient journeys for which an 18 weeks Referral to Treatment waiting time could be measured were reported as being seen within the stated time.

To be able to calculate a patient’s waiting time it is necessary for NHS Boards to link all stages of the patient’s journey from the initial referral to the start of treatment. In March 2021, the waiting time could be measured for 78.9% of patient journeys. NHS Boards are in the process of fully implementing upgrades to their systems to improve data collection.

The graph below shows the percentage of patient journeys completed within 18 weeks since April 2015.

NHS Board level performance is shown for the most recent time period in the table below.

The table below shows the percentage of patients journeys completed within 18 weeks, by NHS Board, for March 2021.

NHS Board

March 2021

NHS AYRSHIRE & ARRAN*

 68.1%

NHS BORDERS

 74.4%

NHS DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY

 73.1%

NHS FIFE

 72.4%

NHS FORTH VALLEY

 68.3%

NHS GRAMPIAN

 ..

NHS GREATER GLASGOW & CLYDE

 78.3%

NHS HIGHLAND

 74.7%

NHS LANARKSHIRE

 72.4%

NHS LOTHIAN

 77.3%

NHS ORKNEY

 90.7%

NHS SHETLAND

 86.4%

NHS TAYSIDE

 76.7%

NHS WESTERN ISLES

 81.7%

NHS NATIONAL WAITING TIMES CENTRE

 89.0%

NHSSCOTLAND

 74.9%

Source: PHS 18 weeks RTT data submission

* NHS Ayrshire & Arran data for July 2017 to March 2021 contain estimates for this measure. These estimates are deemed statistically robust by ISD.

.. NHS Grampian have not been able to provide data for March 2021, Scotland figures are provisional.

Further information

18 weeks: The Referral to Treatment Standard (The official project initiation document)

Waiting Times statistics

18 Weeks RTT

Waiting Times Improvement Plan

Related National Outcomes

Page updated: 25 May 2021.